HAPLESS MAGHEMBE SHOWN THE EXIT AS MAGUFULI RESHUFFLES HIS CABINET
(Posted 08th October 2017)
‘Another one bites the dust‘ was the line of comments received from Arusha when news reached that Tanzania’s Tourism Minister Prof. Jumanne Maghembe was sacked from cabinet alongside his deputy Ramu Makani.Not even two years into his ministerial appointment did Maghembe, like several of his predecessors, not impress his private sector constituents as he kept rubbing them off the wrong way as previously stated here.
New appointees are Dr. Khamis Kingwangallah as substantive Minister and Mr. Japhet Ngailonga Hasunga as Deputy Minister. To both are best wishes extended as they enter one of the most challenging jobs, looking after one of the potentially best performing sectors in the Tanzanian economy which however due to bad political decisions and the wrong people in the key jobs has not lived up to its full potential.
The Natural Resources and Tourism ministry, riddled with controversy and regularly accused of making wrong choices and decisions left his ministerial life hanging in the balance for some time before finally the axe fell on him, many private sector stakeholders claiming it should have happened much earlier.
The mess in the forestry department led in fact to an unfolding review of the country’s policies after it was revealed that last year almost 600.000 hectares of forest were degraded and cut down.
Prof. Maghembe followed his equally hapless predecessor Lazaro Nyalandu, extending the long line of politicians who failed in this portfolio over the years like Ezekiel Maige, with one notable exception, Ambassador Khamis Kagesheki. He however fell out with the powers that be over his principled approach to the sector and his stand against poaching at the time, which under the Kikwete regime had gone completely out of control.
It is understood that tourism sector associations are seeking an early opportunity to meet with the new minister and his deputy to discuss a long agenda of issues plaguing the industry which included points like the collection of concession fees and royalties directly from tourists at the park gates (often but not always paid for by their safari company driver) and related challenges emerging over recent decisions by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority.
Watch this space for future additional updates.